Thursday, October 28, 2010

Burt's Bees Cleanser and Exfoliator Review

I thought I'd do a quick review on the face products I'm using at the moment. 

I'm a big fan of Burt's Bees products and I like almost all of them, so I've been using their cleanser for the past 3 years or so and more recently I've begun to use their exfoliater. 
Image from because my tube is old and wouldn't make for a great picture
So this is the cleanser I use, the Soap Bark and Chamomile Deep Cleansing Cream. I absolutely love it. It makes my skin feel clean, soft and doesn't leave it dry or oily or anything.

It smells AMAZING. It reminds me a little of sherbert or something. 
It gives a nice tingly sensation on your face which I love, but some people might find slightly uncomfortable.
It removes makeup reasonably well.
The cap is on the bottom so no shaking it trying to get product out.
It's 97% natural. Now I'm not too fussed about using natural products, but for me it's a plus if a product I love doesn't have too many nasties in it. 
It lasts a long time. I've been going through a bottle every 9-10 months.
It's good for clearing pores.
Not tested on animals, which is always a plus.

It's not great for removing eye makeup. I use it if I'm only wearing very light eye makeup but anything heavy and I have to break out an eye makeup remover. Also whatever gives it the nice tingly effect stings if it gets in your eyes. 
It doesn't foam. I prefer that it doesn't foam, because foaming is usually caused by SLS which I try to avoid as much as I can. However if you like a foaming wash this may not be ideal for you. 

Overall I definitely recommend this, it's great. 

I assume this is easy to find everywhere, here's it available in healthfood shops and chemists and retails for around €13 for a 6oz tube. I get mine from Evergreen who have a website here from which you can buy this product if you're in Europe.

Picture from

I bought this Peach and Willowbark Deep Pore Scrub around a month ago. I needed a new exfoliator and I saw this on clearance in a chemist so I bought it. I'm quite unimpressed with it. 

It smells nice
After using it my face feels quite soft
On my neck it works well
Not tested on animals
98% natural

The Exfoliating bits are so scratchy!!  Apparently it's "finely ground peach stones" but there's nothing finely ground about it. They're big, sharp bit's of peach stone and they're uncomfortable on my face. 
It doesn't go far at all, you need to use an awful lot of it in each go. 
My face feels quite dry after I use it.

I don't recommend this at all. I'll probably use it to exfoliate my neck and arms but it's way too harsh for my face.

I paid €7 for this, but I think it's around €12 full price.

Chessur & Mad Hatter at a Midnight Tea Party

   Today's FOTD is using my Urban Decay Alice in Wonderland palette

Bourjois Healthy Mix Foundation
UD 24/7 Concealer in CIA
17 Translucent Loose Powder
MAC Hipness Blush
Bourjois Highlighting Powder
MAC Fix +
Pixie Epoxy
UD Midnight Cowboy Rides again e/s (inner lid)
UD Chopper e/s (all over lid and above crease)
UD Twice Baked e/s (crease and outer lid)
UD Oil Slick e/s (crease)
UD Yeyo 24/7 liner (inner eye highlight)
UD X e/s (over Yeyo)
MAC Orb and Shore Leave e/s (browbone)
UD Bourbon 24/7 liner (lower lasline)
UD Zero 24/7 liner (waterline)
Essence Multi Action Mascara
MAC Spiced Chocolate e/s (brows)
MAC Freckletone lipstick

What an attractive picture :p

I love how Midnight Cowboy Rides Again looks over Pixie Epoxy. I've always liked the colour (so much so that I have 3 of them) but I do find it to be a bit of a glitterbomb and that once I start blending the glitter disappears from my eyes. But over the Pixie Epoxy the glitter stays put, so happy days!

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Aztec Gold

Can I just say how much I am in love with Pixie Epoxy? 

All those loose shadows I've had lying around are getting so much love right now. 

Bourjois Healthy Mix Foundation
17 Translucent Loose Powder
MAC Hipness Blush
Bourjois Highlighting Powder
MAC Fix +
Pixie Epoxy
Fyr Aztec Gold e/s (lid)
MAC Time and Space e/s (inner lid)
Fyr Dragonskin e/s (outer lid)
UD Zero e/s (crease)
MAC Orb, Shore Leave and Nanogold e/s (browbone highlight)
UD Yeyo 24/7 liner (inner eye highlight)
UD X e/s (over Yeyo)
UD Honey 24/7 liner (bottom lid + waterline)
UD Honey e/s (over liner) 
Essence Multi Action Mascara
MAC Spiced Chocolate e/s (brows)

I seriously messed up my mascara
MAC Freckletone lipstick
MAC Nymphette gloss

I finally found my Freckletone lipstick! It's been missing for a month or two, which was super annoying because it's my go-to nude. I was considering buying a new one but at €17 or so a pop it wasn't something I was looking forward to, especially since the one I lost was still at least half full. 

But I was tidying last week and I found it down in the bottom of a shopping bag. :D

A few things on my mind

Monday, October 18, 2010

Russian Red or Chlorophyll?

Oh dear. My little brother is making me watch Deep Blue Sea and it's terrifying! I can't deal with movies where science goes wrong and mutated versions of things start killing people. Godzilla and I am Legend are seriously my least favourite movies ever. 

It's weird though, because I love horror movies. The movies that I'm supposed to find scary make me laugh and the movies I'm meant to find ridiculous leave me shaking and hiding behind the popcorn. Bloody typical. On the subject of horror movies though I can't wait for Halloween! It my favourite time of year and my favourite holiday. I love getting dressed up and eating lots of spooky food and drinking luridly coloured drinks. I haven't decided what to dress up as yet for this year so I'll have to get on that. 

Anyone else love Halloween? Know what you're dressing up as yet?

I have some FOTD's to catch up on

Bourjois Healthy Mix Foundation
17 Translucent Loose Powder
MAC Hipness Blush
Bourjois Highlighting Powder
MAC Fix +
ELF Black Gel Liner
UD Yeyo 24/7 Liner
UD X e/s
Essence Multi Action Mascara
MAC Spiced Chocolate e/s (brows)

Essence red Liner
MAC Russian Red Lipstick

My Fyrinnae Pixie Epoxy arrived during the week so I've been using it since. I'll do a review on it after I've had a little more time to see how it holds up to creasing and such but so far I love it. It really makes colours stand out and it makes loose eyeshadows a lot easier to apply. My Fyrinnae shadows have been getting an awful lot of love this week. 

Same as usual
Bourjois Healthy Mix Foundation
17 Translucent Loose Powder
MAC Hipness Blush
Bourjois Highlighting Powder
MAC Fix +
Fyr Pixie Epoxy
Fyr Chlorophyll (lid)
Fyr Steampunk (crease + outer v)
MAC Brash (between Chlorophyll and Steampunk)
MAC Orb (to blend out edges)
MAC Nanogold (brow highlight)
UD Yeyo 24/7 liner (inner eye highlight)
UD X e/s (inner eye highlight)
UD Bourbon 24/7 liner (upper lid + waterline)
UD Flipside 24/7 liner (lower lid + waterline)
Fyr Digital Faerie (lower lid)
Essence Multi Action Mascara
MAC Spiced Chocolate e/s (brows)

17 Balmy Beige 

Monday, October 11, 2010

A sad story about Cake Balls

Ugh, I've just put on OPI Russian Navy and I wish I hadn't bothered. It's so pretty when it's wet, with little red and purple sparkles, but when it dries it just turns into a flat inky colour. It's a little like MAC Naughty Nautical but ugly and it was horrible to apply, all streaky and messy. Hopefully I can save it by sticking a little glitter over it or something. 

Until today I had on China Glaze Agent Lavender. It was quite nice but I felt like it made my fingers look dirty or something, I think it was too cool toned for me. That one wasn't great to apply either, it was quite streaky and went flaky and weird around the edges. I was wearing it for only a few hours when it started to chip.

A friend of mine got a new puppy last week, she's so tiny! 

Isn't she cute? It's weird because my friend has a load of cats and I'm so used to them that everytime the puppy was sitting on my lap I kept expecting her to start purring. 

Last week I was in TK Maxx and I saw an icing piping bag that was cheap so I bought it. That evening I made cupcakes and had my first icing piping attempt. I sucked at first and I was just getting the hang of it when I ran out of frosting. Typical. 

I want to get another piping bag now, with bigger nozzles. The one I got is quite small and basic.

These were supposed to be chocolate orange cupcakes but I was low on oranges so I made them chocolate, orange and almond cupcakes. The recipe is vegan, so it's handy to have if you're low on butter or eggs. Or if you're vegan, obviously. 

Vegan Chocolate, Orange and Almond cupcakes

Makes 12
1 1/2 cups plain flour
1/2 cup cocoa powder
1 cup caster sugar
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 cup orange juice
3/4 cup vegetable oil
1 tsp almond extract 

1. Preheat oven to 180C or Gas Mark 4. Line a bun tin with paper cases.
2. Sift together flour, cocoa power, sugar, baking powder, baking soda and salt in a large bowl
3. In a smaller bowl, whisk together the orange juice, vegetable oil and almond 
4. Pour liquid ingredients into dry ingredients and whisk until just combined.
5. Spoon batter evenly into cases, fill around 3/4 way full.
6. Bake for 20-25 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.
7. Cool cupcakes on a wire rack. 

I made up the frosting as I went along, so these measurments aren't exact

Chocolate Buttercream Frosting
8 squares plain/dark chocolate (I used the big Dairyfine bar from Aldi, the dark one)
2+ tbsp Icing sugar
2+ tbsp Cocoa Powder
2 tbsp butter

1. Chop/break up the chocolate, place in a bowl and microwave in short blasts until melted. Allow to cool for a few minutes
2. To the chocolate add the butter and two tbsp each of the icing sugar and cocoa powder. Beat with a fork until combined. Keep adding cocoa powder and/or icing sugar according to taste and the consistincy you want. For a more chocolate taste add more cocoa powder or for a sweeter taste add more icing sugar. As I was piping the icing I wanted it very stiff to hold it's shape so I used around 4 tbsp of icing sugar and around 2 tbsp of cocoa power altogether. The result will still be quite runny so place it, covered, in the fridge for 10 minutes.
3. Remove from fridge, beat to loosen it a little and pipe or spread onto cupcakes. 

I also made some Almond cupcakes. They were originally going to be vanilla but I was out of vanilla and had a full bottle of almond extract so I used that. They were a nice alternative but I'm not sure they can take over from my love of vanilla cupcakes.

Almond Cupcakes
Makes 12
1 cup Plain flour 
Scant 3/4 cup caster sugar
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda 
Pinch of salt
3 tbsp butter, at room temperature
1/2 cup Milk
1 Egg 
1 teaspoon almond extract
1. Preheat oven to 180C or Gas Mark 4. Line a bun tin with paper cases. 
2. Using a stand mixer or hand held beater mix the flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda and butter on low until it looks sandy and is all combined. Gradually pour in half of the milk and mix until the milk is just incorporated.  
3. In a seperate bowl whisk the egg, almond and remaining milk, then pour it into the flour mix and keep beating until everything is just incorporated, scraping the bowl as needed. Mix until just smooth, do not overmix.
5. Spoon batter evenly into cases, fill around 3/4 way full.
6. Bake for 20-25 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.
7. Cool cupcakes on a wire rack.

 I made a caramel buttercream frosting to go with these ones. Again this is improvised, so everything is approximate.

Caramel Buttercream Frosting
2 tbsp caramel. I used homemade, you could use a tin of dulce de leche if you like
3 tbsp butter
2+ tbsp icing sugar

1. Melt the caramel in the microwave. Allow to cool.
2. Beat in the butter and 2tbsp icing sugar with a fork. Add more icing sugar if needed, but bear in mind the frosting will already be very sweet with the caramel.
3. Refrigerate for 10 minutes or longer. 
4. Remove from fridge, beat til it's fluffly then pipe or spread on cupcakes. 

The next day there were some of the Almond cupcakes left so I decided to make them into Cake Balls, inspired by Bakerella. The Cake Balls were so good, the almond and caramel worked really well with the chocolate. I was saving the most perfect looking one to photograph but unfortunately someone ate it. No one will own up to eating it too, it's really annoying me! Cake Balls are a really good way to use up cupcakes/cake when you've made too many and you're afraid they'll go stale.

Cake Balls
3 Frosted Cupcakes
8 Squares Dark Chocolate
75ml cream

1. In a bowl break up the cupcakes into crumbs and mix into the frosting. My mix was a little dry so I added and extra spoon of caramel. Form this mix into small balls and place on greaseproof paper. 
2. Place the cake balls in the freezer for 20 minutes. Meanwhile, make the coating. 
3. You can just use melted chocolate for the coating, but since I had only 8 squares of chocolate left I made a ganache to make it go further. For this you need to heat up the cream in a saucepan or in the microwave, until it's hot but not boiling. Pour the warm cream over the chopped chocolate and stir until the chocolate is melted and the mixture is smooth and glossy. Allow to cool slightly. Try to resist eating the whole bowl. 
4. Remove the Cake Balls from the freezer and using a spoon dip one at a time into the ganache, tapping the spoon to get rid of excess before laying down on greaseproof paper. Allow the Cake Balls to harden in the fridge. As these are made with ganache, they'll remain a little melty. You could also roll them in chopped nuts or sprinkles.
5. Nom.

Friday, October 8, 2010

FOTD 7 Oct '10

I did this FOTD using mainly the Urban Decay Alice in Wonderland palette. 

Bourjois Healthy Mix Foundation
17 Translucent Loose Powder
MAC Hipness Blush
Bourjois Highlighting Powder

So for my face I applied the foundation to my moisturised face, just using my fingers. I brushed a little powder over this with the ELF Studio Powder brush and blended it into my neck and hairline. With a MAC 168 brush I used the MSFN to contour, applying it in a kind of '3' shape on my temples, under my cheekbones and under my jaw, then I brushed Hipness onto my cheeks with a MAC 187. With a Ruby & Millie flat foundation brush I highlighted my cheeks, nose, cupids bow and chin. 

UD X, Homegrown, Maui Wowie, Oil Slick and Chopper e/s
MAC Orb & Spiced Chocolate e/s
Fyrinnae Wicked e/s
UD Yeyo 24/7 liner
Essence Asia blue liner
Maybelline The Colossal mascara

I applied a layer of UDPP all over my eyelid and over that I brushed on X all over the lid and browbone with a large eyeshadow brush. With a small flat eyeshadow brush I patted Homegrown to the lid and a little above the crease, blending it into X. Chopper was put in the outer 1/3 of the lid and blended into Homegrown. To darken it up a bit I dipped a crease brush into Oil Slick and then into Homegrown, mixing the two on the brush before blending them into the crease. I used Orb to blend out the edges and highlight before applying Yeyo to the inner corner of my eye and using a MAC 219 to pat X over it. I lined my upper and lower waterlines with the Essence liner and then lined the outer half of my upper lashline and all my bottom lashline with it and setting it with Wicked. For my brows I used MAC 208 to fill them in with Spiced Chocolate. Lastly I curled my lashes and put on mascara. 

UD Ozone liner
17 Balmy Beige lipstick
MAC Nymphette lipglass

So you know how I bought new foundation last week? Well this week the foundation I bought is on special offer in Boots. Grr. There is a new Bourjois foundation on sale, called Bio Detox. It's nice that it's natural but I doubt I'll be buying it because when I swatched it it the coverage looked too thick for my liking. It reminded me of Revlon Colourstay a little and it dries very fast.

I bought an Essence mascara yesterday, the Multi Action one. I've yet to try it but I've heard good things about it. I'll do a review in a few days.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Favourite Products - October '10

So I thought I'd do a little post today on my favourite products at the moment as well as a FOTD with them.

I'm starting off with my naked face (scary!). You can see that although my skin is quite good it's a little uneven in colour with redness around my nose and mouth and I have a couple of spots. Apologies for all the squinting in this post by the way, the sun was just hitting my eyes. 

For the last 3 years I've been using Bourjois 10 Hour Sleep Effect foundation and I really like it. It covers up any blemishes without covering my freckles too much or being masklike. Also in the lightest colour (71) it's exactly the right colour for me. 
The Healthy Mix foundation came out here quite recently, maybe a year ago or so. I ran out of foundation a few weeks ago and when I went to buy a new bottle Boots didn't have 10 Hour Sleep Effect in my colour so I bought Healthy Mix instead. So far they seem similar, Healthy Mix gives slightly better coverage and lasts longer on your face. It also seems a little less oily, it's not essential for me to set it with powder like it is with the 10 Hour Sleep Effect. 

As you can see in this picture, the redness in my skin is gone after a light application of Healthy Mix and all my face is the same colour. I just used my fingers to apply it and moisturised beforehand. (Note: I changed the settings on my camera inbetween the first photo and this one, so the foundation doesn't really make me look that much paler than normal.)

I've been using Bourjois Apricot Complexion Enhancer for almost as long as I've used their foundations. It's very handy in the summer because it warms and darkens up your foundation just a little and saves you having to buy a new foundation if you tan just a little in the summer. 
If you have warm toned skin like I do you may have trouble finding foundation with that yellow tint you need. If your foundation is a little grey on you, add a little of this to warm it up. I've been using it like this for the last few weeks. I was waiting to get paid so I could buy new foundation and while I was waiting I was using a foundation which was too pale and cool toned for me.
The Complexion Enhancer can also be used as a gel blusher. I use it as a blusher when I'm in a hurry and just want to wear foundation and blush.

I look much less dead with it on.

MAC Hipness blusher came out in the FAFI collection in Spring 2008 I think. It was then repromoted this Summer with To The Beach. It's a pinky coral with a little gold pearl and is my favourite blush ever. In fact I love it so much that I haven't bought a new blush since. I was going to buy a backup when To The Beach came out but I haven't even hit the pan yet so I doubt (hope) I won't run out any time soon. 

I apply it with a MAC 187

Another Bourjois product next, this time their Highlighting Powder, which is my go-to face highlighter. I sometimes use MAC Vanilla pigment but this is just less messy to apply. I rarely use this as an eyeshadow highlighter, I prefer to use MAC Shore Leave e/s for that. 

I apply this to my cheeks, nose, cupid's bow, chin and a little on my forehead using a flat foundation brush- a Ruby and Millie one.

It was hard to pick my favourite eyeshadows but I went with two Fyrinnae ones- Newcastle and Platinum. I've had these for quite a while and they get a lot of wear. I could actually do with ordering a new pot of Newcastle, mine is nearly empty. Platinum is a silvery champagne colour, it reminds me of UD's Midnight Cowboy without the glitterbomb. Newcastle is a burnished old gold and looks good on everybody. I ordered some Pixie Epoxy yesterday and I can't wait til it arrives to see how these look over it.

I applied Platinum to the inner half of my eyelid, over some UDPP. 

Then applied Newcastle to the rest of the lid and the crease. 
And then used a No.7 blending brush with a little of the Bourjois Highlighter on it to blend it out (slightly unevenly, oops). 

Urban Decay's 24/7 liners are, along with GOSH Velvet Touch liners, my favourite pencil eyeliners. The apply so smoothly and colour range is perfect. Yeyo is great for using as an inner eye highlight or as a base for eyeshadow. 
I placed a bit of it in the inner corner of my eye and blended it out with my ring finger.

1999 is one of my favourite colours from the 24/7 liner range. It's a lovely dark purple with a little sparkle, similar to MAC's Deep Chestnut eyeshadow. 
I applied it to my upper lid and winged it out slightly. 

I bought the Essence Asia navy liner from a clearance bin in a chemist and I'm impressed with it. It's a beautiful navy blue with a tiny bit of shimmer, it applies easily and wears well. 
I applied this to my lower lid and blended slightly with my ring finger.

For the last few years MAC Blacktrack fluidline has been my HG black liner. I ran out of it a while ago and my sister lent me her ELF black gel liner (which I think she's forgotten about!). I'm super-impressed by it, it's actually less dry than the MAC one and so is easier to apply and it wears just as well. 

 I applied this to my upper and lower waterlines using a MAC 208 and then blended it with a little more of the Essence liner. For some reason I didn't take a picture with both eyes done, but here you can see my right eye is lined and my left is not. 

For the last few months I've been using Maybelline The Colossal Mascara. It's quite good, one of the better mascara's I've used. It's time I bought a new mascara actually so if anyone has any recommendations on good volumising and curling mascaras that are relatively cheap then please let me know.

Naked lashes 

With the Maybelline mascara

My favourite lip colour to wear is dark red and in the last few weeks I've been mixing up my own. I use MAC's Russian Red which is probably my favourite lipstick. It's a beautiful colour and lasts for hours, even through eating and drinking. I bought Revlon Black Cherry a few weeks ago on Clearance in Boots for €3. I love the colour but unfortunately the staying power is pretty crap. However when you mix the two together you get decent wear time and a colour which is easier to wear than the Black Cherry alone. 
I mixed them on my lips with my Ruby and Millie lip brush. 

I use MAC Spiced Chocolate for my brows, which is the second colour on the bottom row here

And that's it, all done! 

So what are your favourite products at the moment?